Massacre at Central High (1976)


Written & Directed by: Renee Daalder


Derrel Maury .... David
Andrew Stevens .... Mark
Kimberly Beck .... Theresa
Robert Carradine .... Spoony
Ray Underwood .... Bruce
Steve Bond .... Craig
Rex Steven Sikes .... Rodney
Lani O'Grady .... Jane
Damon Douglas .... Paul
Dennis Kort .... Arthur
Cheryl Smith .... Mary
Jeffrey Winner .... Oscar
Tom Logan .... Harvey

Release Date: Theatrical: September, 1976





A new student named David (Derrel Murray) comes to a school at Central High in which he experiences all the students being terrified by a group of bullies lead by Bruce (Ray Underwood). David's longtime friend Mark (Andrew Stevens) is a part of their crowd in which he doesn't agree to and tries to help the terrified students there and encourages them not to be pushed around.
He also is in love with Mark's girlfriend Theresa (Kimberly Beck) who doesn't like the bullying any more than he does. Suddenly this gang pushes him to the limit making a part of his leg crippled as he turns sour towards everyone that he secretly kills them off one by one by planning some sort of traps for them.

The school seems much happier that these wild bullies are all dead but yet gives them an idea to start out their own clique in which David thinks that his vengeful duties are not over yet after this all breaks out with the other once scared students.
Mark and Theresa also worry for their safety after they find out that he is behind the whole madness at the school.


While we spot the opening credits spotted here it shows clips of the story and what is happening which looked awfully cheesy. It almost contains spoilers while watching all of this. The start of the film seemed a bit cheesy when we spot the bullies giving one of the students named Spoony being caught by putting a NAZI symbol on their locker and manioulating him to clean it up. It didn't look as intense like it should have mainly due to the low budget of this flick. Yet it was interesting on mean kids towards a helpless one.
Plus we have some fine moments when we spot the bullies pulling over another helpless student named Rodney and driving his vehicle that's a clanker which can disturb anyone who buys these things and any reckless driving can damage your vehicle for good. Alot of this looked pretty well done by what we spot here.
A good situation with David offering Rodney a ride to school as there's great discussions with the two of them and discussing on why he let's these bullies push him around as all of this was well written in too looking natural on someone trying to help another one out.
Plus there's another situation when they knock all the books off for another kid named Arthur to clean up as they pile on top of him which looked nicely done here as well as David trying to help this kid out which looked nicely done as well.
There's a discussion between both Mark and Theresa but we really spot the boom mic sticking out big time which looks really bad and of course there were no retakes due to the film's low budget.
There's discussions with the bullies discussing with Mark telling him that David is trouble which was nicely put in and giving you a sinking feeling that they will do something terrible towards him along with Mark being nervous about all of this. You kinda have the feeling that he has no choice but to stick with them unless they torment him next. It seemed realistic with someone having no choice to be friends with them if they know what's good for them.
What we may find amusing is with the kids making the bullies table at the cafeteria like they're at a fancy restarant with fruit etc which is something that you don't see in a highschool flick. It certains rubs off that these bastards are total control freaks.
There's an intense moment when these jerks try to rape two girls in an empty classroom which adds a good touch as to how far they'd go to the extreme like this. It was a combination of both cheesy and intense spotting this as well as Theresa coming in and getting sarcastic by what they were doing. Plus more great touches with David coming in to save the day by beating the crap out of them which looked nicely done while watching this.
We spot some cheesy romantic situations between David and Theresa skinny dipping at night in the ocean as this seemed to add a nice feel to the story as well.
Menawhile there's good peer pressure with Mark trying to convince his friends that they are on his side before they decide to do something terrible towards him for revenge in which this looked powerful to watch.
Plus we spot a vengeful moment on these bullies on what they are going to do to David while he helps fix up Rodney's vehicle as this for sure looked intense and disturbed along with a great close up shot on David. This is a nice start to what will unveil in the vengeful horror plot for sure and done in perfect taste.
We spot a perfect shot on David doing a deed on a handglider wire to plan a deadly trap for one of the bullies named Bruce before they go out to do this which adds a good plan for a horror plot. There's great shots on everyone handgliding high in the air which looked suspenseful to watch. However we spot Bruce landing near a telephone pole as this looked a bit suspenseful to watch but however later on the shots looked too fast and the effects were off. Yet when we spot the results on him hanging there it definetely looked impressively creepy. This also gives you a happy feeling on what was coming to him since he was the leader of his bullying crowd and the meanest one too.
We even spot another one thinking that the pool is filled with water but it isn't as there was a warning that it was being cleaned and of course David removes this note on the bulletin board of the school along with him having the lights shut off. This for sure makes you cringe when he is about to dive and then the lights turn on when he is falling and spotting no water. This was for sure a terrific horror moment without a doubt since it would be a true fear diving off a board and hoping that there is for sure water filled in it. The shots on this looked good and dark to spot.
Things look great with the scared kids getting together and discussing all of this with one bully left and showjng they aren't afraid of him as this seemed pretty clever knowing that it takes more than one to get others scared of.
There's a great confrontation by Mark after knowing that David is behind the murders and telling him to kill him and get over with it in which David shows a nice cruel reaction to this and refusing to do so as this is a nice change in a slasher flick like this one involving the killer.
Also we spot a good shot on David walking outside towards the school with a new change of the students looking full of life as this was a clever change here in the picture.
We spot a moment where some students are having a food fight but yet this looked a little too slapstick to be taken seriously which is supposed to be a sign of new bullying here.
Plus we spot many discussions with different students towards David on how to do negative things which looked psychological making out since the bullies are dead that they want to take over. We even spot someone trying to wreck a rich kid's car in a parking lot which is a nice sign for more surprise killings with David's plan.
A nice shot on David before entering the school building and him standing there having a deep thought which looked cheesily creepy.
There's a shocking situation when Arthur is about to turn on his hearing aid in a library and spot what happens to him in which this looked painful to spot.
There's also a moment when someone opens his locker door and there's a big explosion which looked terrifically terrifying and loud by revealing this in a school hallway causing a total flee with the students as well as the results on this student who opened it which is a total horror touch big time. Plus while one of the students flee he activates his car in which we expect a similar situation and boy does this look neat to watch as well. Some of these had close to jumping moments which is a compliment.
One of the most memorable moments in the film is with someone doing a threesome in a tent at a beach and one of them goes out and spots some dynamite but thinks very little of it before going back in to get her jollies which is a typical no brainer moment in a horror flick since most of these people make unwise decisions than to try and get the hell out of there. There's a neat explosion with rocks falling from a cliff but yet you can tell the set looks like some sort of a model set due to this film's low budget.
There's also a good moment with David explaining to Mark as to why he's doing this after the main bullies were dead which is a clever motive to a madman and why he will do this to bad kids. Just pay attention as to why he explains all of this. It works in well with the story explaining a reason to why he continues to kill.
We have a good situation on Theresa convincing David not to kill Mark in which this looked nice spotting someone to try and reason with a maniac. It looked good and calm as to what happens here.
We spot a prom night near the end of the film as everything looked too performed out an unnatural. The dancing was pretty cheesy as well as ther other areas. Still it can look fun to watch if you're in the mood for it. The ending had a happy and sad one at the same time but it seemed silly as to having some people thinking very little during this moment.
Bottom line is that this is a grindhouse flick not meant to be taken seriously but yet alot of clever moments on killing constant bad kids showing how deadly karma can be to them as well as showing that there will always be jerks everywhere you go no matter how much you try to get rid of other people for doing nasty deeds. It's also a good moment spotting a nice guy turning wicked after he is permanently injured too. There's alot of leaky holes in this flick but yet can seem to inspire future slasher films as well like Sleepaway Camp or even Prom Night but those one's were done in better taste. It even had a touch of the drama thriller Class of 1984 even. Not a mainstream flick but an infuential one. It seems to start out as a psychological drama but then when the tragic accidental killings happen this convinced you that it's definetely a horror flick. It's not really scary but in some spots well done.

The acting is fairly well done but has many virtual unknowns who try their best. Lead actor Derrell Maury (David) really stole the film with his performance here. He shines off as someone with a good decent and serious behavior along with showing someone with a believeable intelligence too. Plus he shows off a nice charming attitude acting like a believeable all round nice guy when he speaks to others which shows off perfectly here. He also shows some great blocking energy when he acts physical with his punching movements too. He also shows a perfect intense screaming when a situation happens to him as this looked truly intense. Shows a great versatality with him acting bitter and silent which shines off greatly. Plus does a nice job with his firm speaking whenever he needed to do this. He also draws in well explaining situations and showing off a nice tense energy here. Plus shows some terrific blocking while limping quickly when he tries to run out with an object as he really got into a moment by acting believeably crippled. He was for sure a great character actor.
Andrew Stevens (Mark) shows it off nicely as well having a great energetic type of behavior in which he knew on how to act anxious in many spots of the film. He also shows off a great nervousness to a problem as he looked believeable while doing this too. Plus shows some great aggressions whenever he needed to act like this. Does well with his upsetting behavior too as well as acting scared which he acted good by being intense. He drew all this in perfectly and had the right looks for his part in the film which was another nice plus here.
Kimberly Beck (Theresa) seemed to do well with her soft spoken behavior as well as coming across as a decent school girl next door type too. She also does well with her upsetting reactions by what goes on in the school which she drew in nicely to this. She also does a great job with her sarcastic and tough type of behavior after spotting a disturbing moment in which she draws out some good energy here. Also does a nice job with her romantic behavior too in which she made this fairly believeable.
Does well by trying to act sympathetic and showing nice characgteristics with this as well. Does a nice job acting full of life at a prom as she acts perfectly well by being stubborn on a situation there.
Ray Underwood (Bruce) was another great performer in this flick as the head bully of the gang in which he has that Class of 1984 type of appeal to his obnoxious behavior here. He speaks slickly which looked perfectly done as well as showing a great menacing type of behavior. He also knew on how to act rough and forceful too. Plus does a good job when he gets demanding in certain situations too. Also during the end of his performance did a good screaming reaction which was at a high tense level. A good pat on the back for this fellow.
Rex Steven Sikes (Rodney) breezes through nicely with a shy type of behavior which he does in an okay fashion plus does a nice job while acting cautious towards someone else as he brings this to life too. Shows a good aggressive and energetic attitude while discussing on trashing a car and putting some might into this which also looked impressive too. He seems to breeze through his part in a decent fashion here.
Damon Douglas (Paul
) had a good brawny type of look to him in which he totally shines off as one of the bully's in the flick. Can he act? Well he isn't too bad in his performance. He's rusty at times though. Yet he does draw across as a dimwitted type who lacks intelligence which looked impressive by how he does all of that. Sometimes though when he acts aggressive it fails a bit but not too much. Does well with his ignorant behavior near the end of his performance by acting unhappy which he comes across as a believeable and unlikeable jerk.
Dennis Kort (Arthur) shows a nice stuttering behavior in which he really knew on how to act frightened towards the bullies when trying to get assertive with them. He also does a great job acting hyper with his speaking in many parts of the scene's and getting full of life with his cocky behavior. Plus shows a perfect shocked expression while turning on his hearing aid during the end of his performance. He studied this role in a good fashion here.
Jeffrey Winner (Oscar) had a stocky presence to him plus knew on how to act like a typical outsider along with showing a good high adrenaline with his fearful attitude as well. He does well with his blocking by acting like a bully later on but yet seemed geeky while doing this. His looks were the main part for this. Still he stands out well with his performance.
Tom Logan (Harvey) had the most effective supporting role in which he had a great geeky type of presence to him along with his nervous and hyperactive speaking which shines off terrifically. Does well with his griping type of behavior and knew on how to act like a wimp when trouble finds him which is also impressive. His looks were perfect too. He also comes across as believeably annyoing while talking to someone about a plan in which he acts terrifcally hyperactive here. He was another worthy character actor.

Both Kimberly Beck and Derrell Maury are stripped down in a distance while running around in the ocean.
A blouse is open briefly showing some breasts with Lani O'Grady while nearly getting raped in an empty classroom.
Kimberly Beck exposes her breasts and butt while fornicating at a beach as well as a brief butt shot on Andrew Stevens.
Lani O'Grady and Cheryl Smith are fully nude fornicating at a beach in a tent with Smith walking out of a tent stripped naked.

Someone is electrocuted looking briefly burned while on a telephone wire.
A body is brielfy bloodied after hitting cement in an empty swimming pool.
Person's ear is bleeding after activating his hearing aid.
Someone is burned after an explosion but it doesn't look very gruesome as well as the rest discussed here.

We have some good 70's type of composing especially some uplifting trumpet groovy style playing with many scene's taking place near a beach which blends in perfectly. Also there's some weeping clarinet playing as well as sounding suspenseful here and there. We also hear tragic trumpet and trombone playing too when murderous events start to happen which sounds strong along with some heavy drum beats too. Plus we have a scene with a lustful threesome situation near a beach and hearing some bluesy guitar playing which sounds light and pleasant. It worked in well for that piece and very memorable too. All of this was put together by Tommy Leonetti

There's a songtrack called "Crossroads" used in the opening and closing credits in which we hear pleasant operatic singing but yet the song isn't very good and sounds too peaceful to be used in a horror flick. It does sound like a cheesy 70's type pop tune though.

[Theresa is talking to her boyfriend Mark about his best friend David]
Theresa: He's a good friend of yours, Mark. The best. There's a moment before the accident that we were on the beach, talking and feeling close. We went skinny-dipping. I wanted to make love and I think he did too. But he wouldn't, because of you.